Unlike the physical wounds of broken bones and lacerations, traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects mood, thought processes, and behaviour, often in ways that are difficult to understand for people who are not trained to care for TBI patients. Compounding the problem is that TBI affects each individual in different ways, and the scientific reasons for these effects are sometimes poorly understood.
The behavioural and life-altering consequences of TBI, on the other hand, are unfortunately too well known by the families of TBI patients. Personality changes, loss of cognitive abilities, memory loss, and emotional disability are all common after traumatic brain injury. Social isolation affects family members as well as the patient because outsiders rarely understand how different their lives have become.
These disabilities may last years or a lifetime. Many brain injuries occur as a result of auto accidents and you have insurance to deal with as well as the injuriy itself. (See our post on Navigating the Auto Injury Claims Process) Many TBI patients are young or in their prime income-earning years. Some can never go back to work or cannot fully support their family anymore because they can no longer work in their former occupation, so financial difficulties are common as well.